November is Men’s Mental Health Month, and Movember is all about raising awareness of men’s mental health issues.
Men & Mental Health:
Why do men struggle to reach out for mental health support when needed? How can men be better aware of warning signs of mental health issues, and what to do if they are suffering from mental health illnesses such as depression and anxiety? Where does the stigma of men’s mental health come from?
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Ronald F. Levant claims the mental health stigma in men pressures men to:
- Restrict Emotions
- Avoid Being Feminine
- Focus On Toughness & Aggression
- Be Self-Reliant
- Make Achievement The Top Priority
What does this result in?
The constant restriction of emotions can lead to men feeling confused, developing anxiety, and dreading day-to-day tasks that affect aspects of their whole life.
“Imagine if every day of your life began with the utter bewilderment of untreated depression. Image the feeling of constant frustration, the unrelenting anxiety and the everlasting loneliness of a disease that you do not understand.
“Imagine the effort it takes to try and live a happy, normal life, to succeed in your daily endeavours, and to maintain healthy relationships, all the while desperately trying to keep your private battles within yourself and taking whatever measures necessary to ensure that nobody knows what you are dealing with.”
– Wes Brierley. Click here to read the rest of Wes’s story.
How To Help Mental Health Stigma In The Workplace?
The best way to fight stigma is through education and the more we know about the prevalence of mental health issues in men, the faster we can treat them. Getting involved in your workplaces corporate health programs is a great way to fight stigma in the workplace. If your workplace doesn’t have a corporate health program, speak to your employer about putting one in place.
Our national safety regulators (i.e SafeWork, WorkSafe) are conducting random safety blitz’ on key organisations; wanting to see how mental health is being managed.
It’s also legal requirement that a person conducting a business or undertaking has the primary duty of care under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers and that other persons at the workplace are not put at risk from the work that is carried out. ‘Health’ is defined in the WHS Act as both physical and psychological health. You can find our more on our corporate health and wellness programs here.
Need some tips on how to manage your mental health and resilience to hardships? Or do you simply want to find out more on the burden of mental health in the current Australian workspace? Our recent Mental Health Seminar featured presentations from Black Dog Institute, and Grant Mizens, Paralympic Gold Medalist.
If you’d like a copy of the slides, please contact us.
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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